TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – 04/13/11) – Nautilus Minerals’ (TSX:NUS – News)(AIM: NUS) plan to accessible a new borderland of seafloor ability assembly has taken a aloft footfall forward, with the accumulation of a cardinal affiliation with German aircraft aggregation Harren & Accomplice (“Harren”).A collective adventure aggregation (the “Vessel JV”) is to be formed to own and accomplish a assembly abutment barge which will serve as the operational abject for Nautilus to aftermath aerial brand nut and gold ore at its aboriginal development project, Solwara 1, in the Bismarck Sea of Papua New Guinea (“PNG”).The barge will be the amphibian belvedere for the mobilisation and alien operation of assembly accouterment operating on the seafloor at baptize abject of about 1600 metres. The seafloor assembly accoutrement will cut and accumulate ore which will be pumped in slurry anatomy to the Assembly Abutment Vessel, area it will be candy through a dewatering bulb afore alteration to barges for carriage and consecutive treatment.Under the agreement of the cardinal partnership, Harren will architecture and assemble the barge at a aggregate of about EUR127 actor (US$167 million), with commitment appointed for the aboriginal bisected of 2013.On delivery, the barge will be awash to the Barge JV in which Harren will authority a 50.01% interest. The absolute 49.99% of the Barge JV will be controlled by Nautilus through a captivation aggregation in which the PNG government owns a 5% pale through its wholly endemic aggregation Petromin PNG Holdings Ltd (“Petromin”).The Barge JV will allotment the barge to the mining collective adventure (the “Mining JV”), in which Nautilus holds a 70% pale and Petromin holds a 30% stake, to backpack out its seafloor assembly operations, for a aeon of eight years, at an boilerplate circadian aggregate of US$70,000. Harren will accommodate crewing, acumen and address administration casework to the Barge JV which will be on answerable at a circadian aggregate of US$10,000 to the Mining JV. The Mining JV will accommodate a charterer’s agreement to the Barge JV for an antecedent aggregate of US$10 actor abbreviation over a bristles year aeon to US$2.5 million.Funding for the Barge JV will accommodate about EUR75 actor (US$99 million) in coffer debt to be acquired by Harren, which additionally will accord EUR16 actor (US$21 million) in disinterestedness and loans. Nautilus will accord about EUR32 actor (US$42 million) in disinterestedness and loans, and Petromin will accord the absolute EUR4 actor (US$5 million).”This transaction is a aloft footfall advanced in the development of the seafloor assets industry,” said Nautilus CEO Stephen Rogers.”Through this collective adventure with Harren, we will defended a accompaniment of the art barge to accomplish on this ground-breaking project. This will ensure that we accept the best accessible accessories and the greatest operational ability and adaptability in bringing Solwara 1 into production.””It brings to the activity the all-encompassing aircraft ability and acquaintance of Harren, which operates a agile of 56 argosy about the world. In addition, an important aspect of the transaction is that it provides admission to coffer allotment through the collective adventure vehicle, acceptable basal adaptability for the project,” he said.Harren Chairman, Peter Harren said the aggregation was absolute accustomed with all-embracing cardinal partnerships, which accept been a foundation of its business during its 20 years of operation. “During the advance of our negotiations with Nautilus, we accept congenital a able accord and accept that alive calm we can accomplish a aloft accession to this agitative activity in Papua New Guinea,” he said.Harren has completed basal architecture for the vessel, a multi-purpose dry burden address classed by Germanischer Lloyd. It has a breadth of 208m, axle of 40m, a accountability accommodation of about 18,800 tonnes and a acceleration of 17 knots. (See links 1 and 2 beneath for pictures of the vessel).The barge will abode architect sets bearing 30MW of ability for the vessel, seafloor assembly accoutrement and associated pumping machinery, and will accept on-board accomodation for up to 160 people, including 30 amphibian crew. The barge is to be congenital at a German shipyard.In accession to the Assembly Abutment Vessel, the added aloft pieces of accessories to be congenital above-mentioned to the alpha of operations include:
1. The Seafloor Assembly Tools. Three accidentally operated machines – anauxiliary cutter, a aggregate cutter, and a accession apparatus – are in thefinal stages of architecture by UK aggregation Soil Apparatus Dynamics. The designof these machines is based on technologies that are accustomed and authentic inthe oil and gas, trenching, abyssal dredging and mining industries. Keycontracts are now in abode for acid heads, advance and the barrage andrecovery system.
2. The Riser and Lifting System, which pumps the slurry from the seafloorto the Assembly Abutment Vessel. The design, actuality agitated out by a USsubsidiary of French accumulation Technip, is aing to finalisation withcomponent testing now beneath way.
These items of accessories are appointed for commitment in aboriginal 2013 and will be wholly-owned by the Mining JV.Total basal aggregate appraisal to complete the adopted assembly arrangement for the Solwara 1 activity accept been advised in ablaze of the Harren transaction. The absolute basal aggregate for the abstraction of ore from the seafloor and commitment to the Port of Rabaul is now estimated to be about US$407 million. The US$167 actor aggregate of the Assembly Abutment Barge is advised as a basal aggregate of the Barge JV and not as allotment of the basal aggregate of the Solwara 1 project.In affiliation with entering into the Harren transaction Nautilus has absitively to charter, rather than purchase, ore carriage barges, consistent in an associated abridgement of basal costs for these items to the activity basal aggregate appraisal and an associated accession to activity operating costs of barge allotment costs.This has resulted in Nautilus’ estimated barge allotment costs (including both the abutment barge and the barges) accretion by 33% aloft the corresponding aggregate estimates acclimated in the Aggregate Study. Allotment costs represented 34% of the absolute estimated operating costs per tonne beneath the Aggregate Study. (See the Cautionary Account Apropos the Aggregate Abstraction at the end of this account absolution apropos risks associated with the advice in the Aggregate Study.) Nautilus will alongside balance assertive of these costs in the anatomy of charterparty fees through its absorption in the Barge JV. There accept been no changes to the basal accessories configurations categorical in the Aggregate Abstraction and the advancing circadian assembly aggregate charcoal at an boilerplate 3710 tonnes (1.35Mtpa) excluding armpit admission and shutdown.These changes to costs accept been aggregate beneath the administration of Nautilus Minerals Activity Manager – Offshore, Michael Howitt. Mr Howitt is a able Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institute of Abyssal Engineering, Science and Technology (MIMarEST). Mr Howitt has advised and accustomed the acknowledgment apropos costs independent in this account release.Conditions PrecedentCompletion of the Harren transaction is codicillary on Harren accepting a debt allotment amalgamation for the Barge JV, and the activity sanction by the Nautilus Board of Directors.The Nautilus Board has accustomed the revised Solwara 1 activity plan, calm with the aggregate advice apropos to the project, and is aiming to accommodate abounding sanction of the activity aloft accepting adapted financing.Harren & PartnerHarren & Partner, based in Bremen, Germany, has been in operation for added than 20 years. The aggregation was formed in 1989 by Captain Peter Harren, and now operates 56 argosy of amid 4,000 tdw and 70,000 tdw including tankers, alembic agriculturalist vessels, aggregate and abundant lift carriers and berth ships.The aggregation provides absolute address administration casework including agile management, address architecture activity management, address inspection, crewing, purchasing of new and additional duke tonnage, address aliment and repair, affirmation management, registration, accounts and insurance.The aggregation employs 145 agents on shore, has 1800 accustomed aggregation members, and has auspiciously managed added than 20 address funds – all with absolute ante of return.Nautilus Minerals Inc.Nautilus is the aboriginal aggregation to commercially analyze the ocean attic for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits and is currently developing its aboriginal project. The Company’s basal focus is the Solwara 1 project, which is amid in the territorial amnion of Papua New Guinea in the western Pacific Ocean.Nautilus is listed on the TSX and AIM banal exchanges, and has amid its better shareholders two of the world’s arch all-embracing ability companies Anglo American (11.1%) and Teck Assets (6.8%), as able-bodied as Metalloinvest, one of the better and fastest growing mining and metallurgical captivation companies in Russia, which beneficially owns 21% of the Company’s issued shares through Gazmetall Captivation (Cyprus) Limited.For the purposes of this release, an barter aggregate of 1.32 USD and C$1.27 to 1 EUR has been applied.LinksLink 1: Vessel: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/misc/2011-04-12_NR-02.jpgLink 2: Vessel: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/misc/2011-04-12_NR-03.jpgLink 3: Solwara 1 Adopted Assembly Arrangement Definition and Aggregate Abstraction of June 2010: http://www.nautilusminerals.com/i/pdf/NAT005_Solwara_1_Offshore_Production_System_Definition_and_Cost_Study_Rev_3_21_June2010.pdfCertain of the statements fabricated in this account absolution may accommodate advanced statements aural the acceptation of the United States Balance Barter Act of 1934 and advanced advice aural the acceptation of applicative Canadian balance law. Advanced statements and advanced advice include, but are not bound to statements or advice with account to the dates of commitment of the abutment vessel, the seafloor assembly apparatus and the riser and countdown system, the date of admission of assembly and the anniversary aggregate of assembly from the Solwara 1 project, estimated basal costs and operational costs, and the aggregate of nut and gold to be acquired therefrom, the appearance and achievement of the abutment vessel, the allotment contributions of the accommodating companies and the estimated resource. We accept fabricated abundant assumptions about the absolute advanced statements and advice independent herein, including amid added things, that the planned anniversary aggregate of assembly will be accomplished aural the appear time period, commitment of the barge in the aboriginal bisected of 2013 for $167M, and the aliment of a acknowledged collective adventure affiliation with Harren. Even admitting our administration believes that the assumptions fabricated and the expectations represented by such statements or advice are reasonable, there can be no affirmation that the advanced account or advice will prove to be accurate.Forward-looking statements and advice by their attributes absorb accepted and alien risks, uncertainties and added factors which may account the absolute after-effects to be materially altered from any approaching after-effects bidding or adumbrated by such advanced statements or information. Such risks, uncertainties and added factors include, amid others, Harren or Nautilus declining to defended debt funding, absence by a partner, the Nautilus Board of Directors declining to sanction the project, backward commitment of the barge or added equipment, variations to the bulk of the vessel, the aggregate of fuel, added inflationary factors and the allotment aggregate for the Company’s argosy including the ore-transport barges, the proposed abundance plan and assumptions apropos barter rates. Should one or added of these risks, uncertainties or added factors materialize, or should basal assumptions prove incorrect, absolute after-effects may alter materially from those declared in advanced statements and information. Although we accept attempted to analyze factors that would account absolute after-effects to alter materially from those declared in advanced statements and information, there may be added factors that account absolute results, performances, achievements or contest to not be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Also, abounding of the factors are aloft our control. There can be no affirmation that advanced statements or advice will prove to be accurate, as absolute after-effects and approaching contest could alter materially from those advancing in such statements. Accordingly you should not abode disproportionate affirmation on advanced statements or information. Except as adapted by law, we do not apprehend to amend advanced statements and advice as altitude change and you are referred to the abounding altercation of the Company’s business independent in the Company’s letters filed with the balance authoritative authorities in Canada.Cautionary Account Apropos Aggregate StudyInvestors are cautioned that the Aggregate Abstraction is not an bread-and-er appraisal of the Solwara 1 Activity as a accomplished and does not affirm the Project’s bread-and-er viability. Investors are cautioned not to use the Aggregate Abstraction for that purpose and that a abstraction of all costs, ante of accretion and reasonable acquirement projections is all-important afore any appraisal of bread-and-er activity can be made.The Aggregate Abstraction was developed from a basal abundance plan that includes accepted mineral resources. Investors are cautioned that accepted assets are advised too abstract geologically to accept the bread-and-er considerations activated to them that would accredit them to be categorised as mineral reserves, and there is no authoritativeness that the costs apropos to the Adopted Assembly Arrangement set alternating in the Aggregate Abstraction will be realised. In addition, the adumbrated mineral assets included in the abundance plan are not mineral affluence and do not accept accustomed bread-and-er viability.Neither the TSX nor the London Banal Barter accepts albatross for the capability or accurateness of this columnist release.
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